MONACO: To raise awareness about the effects of air pollution, the IAAF has achieved a major milestone, by installing its first stadium air quality monitor in Monaco.
As part of a pilot project which has been designed to highlight the need for clean air, the first device was set up at Stade Louis II in Monaco. The IAAF and UN Environment (UNEP) announced in May that they were joining forces to address the issue of poor air quality, which has led to seven million deaths globally, according to a World Health Organisation study.
Installed in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II, President of the Monaco Athletics Federation and Chair of the IOC Environment Commission, and Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations.
HSH Prince Albert II said “As chairman of the Monaco Athletics Federation I am proud that the Stade Louis II has been part of the IAAF Air Quality Device project which targets to improve the quality of environment and conditions of performances for the athletes, through data that has never been provided before.”
According to the plan, six more devices, which are being supplied by a Spanish company – Kunak Technologies SL, will be installed on athletics tracks around the world. These include stadiums in:
To measure the results of difference between the air at each side of the stadium, a second device will also be installed at Stade Louis II.
To evidence the seriousness of air quality – Fanny Demassieux, Head of the UNEP’s Pollution and Health Unit in Paris, IAAF-UNEP Clean Air Ambassador Paula Radcliffe and IAAF Council Member and Chair of the IAAF Sustainable Development Advisory Group, Sylvia Barlag were also present.
To provide real time air quality data around the world, under the five-year partnership between the IAAF and UNEP, the plan is to install 1000 monitors stationed in IAAF certified athletics tracks. Having around half a billion runners around the world, the IAAF is in a extraordinary position to promote international awareness about the effects of air pollution.
Air quality is particularly an important issue for athletes, as their performances can be negatively affected while competing in bad quality air. This has become important as according to the IAAF Health and Science Department study, the
performance of athletes have a correlation to the air quality and thereby the performance level reduces in highly polluted environments.
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